Your body had let you down.
You knew the meaning “shell-shocked”,
And the pathways that led down.
That quenchless thirst for knowing,
To always question what you saw.
You asked what really mattered,
And when you glimpse its core,
You pared your life to basics,
Cherishing life giving links the more.
You squarely faced that “shell-shocked”,
And all that threatened, dark.
You came to see your body
Contained a more wondrous part.
And therein found a doorway,
Pathways inviting deep within.
Your persistence led you to wonder
And to enlivening your life goal.
When your embattled pilgrim
Came face to face with soul.
A place so full of colour
With contrasts light and dark.
Where warmth eclipses coldness,
Warm pools, to swim, embark.
And as you sat enfolded
By that great, so ancient tree.
You found a deep connection,
A world embracing thee.
And as you gazed with wonder
And on creation you did peek,
The Creator through her gentle breeze
Stooped down to touch your cheek.
A place to nourish friendship;
To know what is most real.
The place to find more courage,
To walk through all you feel.
When clouds do darken over.
When all seems to say, despair.
To connect with friends within, without
To find your meaning there.
You farewelled that independence
That once had served, so you tell.
And surrendered more to friendship
That you had offered others well.
And as that outer body weakened,
You found the gift of your own self;
You offered it to their care
Each day, to keep the vigil,
As you slowly slipped away.
You opened there a place for love
That now will ache so sore.
But also in that place of soul
Flows love, along with so much more.
A spring of life to bubble through
To quench a thirst and fill.
New life can always flow from death,
The soul knows that, it will.
I perched on a rock ledge out of sight,
Above where sea slapped shore with might.
In solitude, pondering upon love’s need;
On passion held and passion freed.
And if to earth’s places, far and nigh,
Love could be carried on voice and sigh.
A gull took my love on its winged flight,
Swooping low to the spray in its delight.
Rising high on up-drafts, then away,
To find my sweetest one, by night by day.
I waited long until it urgent came,
And in its love song, called my name.
I watched the setting sun in awe,
While for a moment thought I saw,
As golden fire in sea did drown;
A shining pathway from its crown.
Stretch a beam right to my heart,
To gently touch that yearning part.
Today the sun shines so brightly
Birds unbidden, bring their songs.
Dew on leaves and flowers glisten,
their beauty once hardly noticed.
And a heart that in past times beat so steadily
will surely soon completely burst.
For how much joy and newness and life
can it now contain?
I see her through the window in the garden.
That precious jewel I almost lost.
Tears, that flow so easily just at the sight of her,
were never there before.
For does a man weep to salve to a soul,
that only a little while before
all but closed in deep despair?
The world, once steady, full of certainty and rule,
has turned – I see it upside down!
On this parchment, cases I should judge,
Troubled, broken. human hearts,
once excluded, but so dear to the Nazarene.
Could I speak his words and say:
“Do not be afraid, precious daughter, valued son?”
Could the joy that overflows me
invade, bless and even heal their souls?
Am I completely undone, or redone?
Has a steady stone like heart found flesh,
and has the very centre of myself,
been put outside, making way for love?
He walked in to what could have been a tomb!
So long we have waited for him
and did not notice our eyes closing in our weariness.
Surely he has come,
for today, my eyes are open, I have found my song.
Beyond Our Seasons
How often do we long for Spring time?
As though it had folded away its bulbs,
Wrapped tightly to be left in darkness.
Had it opened its buds to quickly,
Abandoning ripened petals for compost?
Is it parts of Summer for which we yearn?
Leaving its stifling heat and wetness,
And the hot breath that stung our eyes,
To fade behind more cherished memories,
Of splashing water and cool evening breezes.
Or do we cherish the settling of Autumn,
With its richness of colour and shedding?
To tread on its carpet, to play with its leaves!
Or do we allow its muses to sulk us,
By wrapping its winter readiness around us?
Do we close windows and doors to Winter,
Shutting out its wildness and stark fingers?
To hibernate and mull and lick our wounds!
Or do we notice our inner growing,
As roots reach deeper into our Creator’s earth?
In time do seasons lose their names,
To yield up rhythms, both secret and Divine?
Of living, breathing, dying, and rising,
That happen in each moment fully lived,
And lead us to that deep Eternal Spring.
Worlds so easily fall apart.
Fault lines, barely visible,
until, tiny fissures open
to tearfully secrete their mystery.
Frail creatures that we are,
our fault lines, when fully bare
are open doors for grace,
to assuage, enliven our created core.
Two mariners on a vast sea,
guided only by their inner compass,
causing the most Holy and Sacred Trinity
to wildly embrace with joy and happiness.
The Human Face
Majestic mountains evokes wonder,
The human face elicits awe.
Cragged peaks lost in clouded thunder,
Human visage masks its flaw.
Rainbows arch clouds and colours render,
Divine rays glint in darkened eyes.
Light and Sun reveal creation’s splendour;
Eternal echo sound in human cries.
Waters seep through caves and hollows,
Heart’s pulse quickens inner face.
Darkness caresses each and follows,
Tributaries fashioned fine as lace.
Nocturnal creatures emerge in moonlight,
Inner face wakens to its beams;
Stirs, stretches, nourished by its nightlight,
Soul sips nectar from its dreams.
Beyond Terror’s Tomb
How are now your glory, grandeur spent?
Guttered, maimed, charred, your sacred body rent.
Searching you through rubbled, embered fears
Laid bare as dust and dampened with our tears.
How vast and seeming empty, this all entrapping tomb!
We taste our dust and ashes in spiral smoke-filled gloom.
Crew on crew roll away the concrete, steel and stone;
Fragments of your grave cloth, pulverized, unknown.
How many seasons are terror’s torments borne?
How many tombs are readied, filled, mourners left forlorn?
How many times do we forsake you, and grind you into dust?
How many calls for vengeance before we lose all trust?
Must vengeance, your hell and weeping sore extend?
In each igniting, summoned forth, your holy name to lend.
Our inner grief, fear’s gnawing vulture, anger, tame
And touch again cold anguish with your eternal flame.
Was it terror that you tasted as you sweated with that cup?
Was it terror that tried and judged you, your innocence torn up?
Was it terror that stripped you naked and nailed you to a tree?
Was it terror that you rose over when you set its captives free?
Birds flying, flee life’s loss, exiled from shattered broken nests;
Season’s sorrow, spirited far away in aching feathered breasts.
Returning dove, wings white against the charred & blackened sore,
Free, knowing its eternal nest, is found, at heaven’s open door.
Invitation of St Francis
Is it just to Dreamers that visions of Sainthood speak?
Deep call of heart remains with dream to rise and peak?
Pegged with our tent, pitched midpoint of earth and heaven
Security in the one, expending for the other, minimal leaven.
Though in our dreams boredom with conformity does mutter;
Fantasy of light and love and poverty will such illusion utter.
Can we say I see a way, I see a way?
Do such dreams always vanish with the day?
Where do limits imposed by insecurity, by unbelief, by fear,
Staple us, so grace and holiness drift far off not near?
Limiting our history, in our history no profound incarnate freed,
Caught with matter, chained by senses, choked by tare and. weed.
In deeper and more fertile ground,
Does Kingdom echo still resound?
Can we say I see a way, I see a way?
Are grace and holiness always gagged in tensions of the day?
Can Dreamers breathe deeply between future and past?
Then twirl in the moment as child spinning fast,
And find the same matter and senses infused,
Receiving the Kingdom in here and now presence;
Naked, transparent, vital – signs of God s immanence.
Can now I say I know a way, I know a way,
As Kingdom breaks through to liberate the day.